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Hamlet: The Nature Of Men. Is An Essay Wich Shows Hamlets Character Through The Contrast With Fortinbras Laertes And Horatio

961 words - 4 pages

Hamlet: the Nature of MenIn the Shakespearean play Hamlet, Hamlet, the tragic hero is a very well developed character. Shakespeare elucidates his strengths and weaknesses by contrasting them with those of Fortinbras, Laertes and Horatio. Whereas Fortinbras is determined, Hamlet is indecisive; whereas Laertes is excused for gambling, drinking and whoring, Hamlet condemns any vice; whereas Horatio exhibits balanced behavior, Hamlet is torn between passion and reason. Through these contrasts Hamlet is able to grow and make wiser decisions, using these other men as examples of how, and how not, to act.Fortinbras is the prince of Norway. His father was killed in a battle with Hamlet Sr., which resulted in a loss of lands. Fortinbras is determined to regain his fathers lands....young Fortinbras,Holding a weak supposal of our worth,Or thinking by our late dear brother's deathOur state to be disjoint and out of frame,Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,Importing the surrender of those landsLost by his father, with all bonds of law,To our most valiant brother (1.2.17-25).Fortinbras, sensing that with the death of the king Denmark would be disorganized, has demanded the surrender of the lands lost by his father. He is determined to regain his lands. In contrast Hamlet, who's father was also killed, and who also wants to avenge his father, sits idly by and watches the killer usurp his father's throne, unable to decide when or how to act against the killer.'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot beBut I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gallTo make oppression bitter, or ere thisI should have fatted all the region kitesWith this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!O, vengeance! (2.2.574-579).Hamlet is chastising himself for his own inaction and procrastination. He calls himself cowardly and afraid to act. Hamlet is torn between whether or not to act. He is even envious of Fortinbras. Hamlet compares his own inaction, to Fortinbras' action.Witness this army of such mass and chargeLed by a delicate and tender prince,Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd...Rightly to be greatIs not to stir without great argument,But greatly to find quarrel in a strawWhen honour's at the stake. How stand I then,That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,Excitements of my reason and my blood (4.4.46-57).Laertes has grown to adulthood with Hamlet, but he is very different from Hamlet. Laertes indulges in drinking, gambling, prostitution and fighting. Laertes' father Polonius even condones these activities. Laertes believes that all men indulge similarly and this is evident through the warning he gives his sister about Hamlet's intentions.For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,A violet in the youth of primy nature,Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,The perfume and suppliance of a...

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